Monday, 15 July 2013

Straight from the camel's mouth...

Overheard in dance class

For some time now, I have half-heartedly kept a record of some of the more amusing/bizarre/unintentionally filthy/offensive/inspiring/useful things said in the course of belly dance classes and workshops I've attended. Since I attended my first class around the same time Elton John had his first hair transplant, I've got a veritable treasure trove going now. Although I know who said what, at some points I have redacted the name of the teacher to protect the guilty...
"You sound like a wobbly pig!" -- Isa, context forgotten.

"Girls, girls, girls, please! It is not like 'zoo animal'!" -- An exasperated Huda Sabour tries to get a room to zar with grace...and fails.

"That was like an Egyptian wedding and no one had an invitation." -- Shafeek Ibrahim gives up on arabesques en masse.

"OK, that won't achieve anything. It's a buttock contraction, not a butthole contraction." -- Traysi explains basic anatomy.

"Relax. It's only belly dancing." -- Razia Star keeps it in perspective.

"Your applause is my food! So satisfy me!" -- Fifi Abdou really means it.

"Girls, I know how it is. In life, we all have our problems and our sadnesses and sometimes we have to dance even though we want to cry. But no one cares. So please smile. Or I will kill you."

"Shoulders back and down." -- every teacher I have ever had, ever.

"Move it like, 'My pelvis is excited!'" -- Anna Kemper.

"I cannot dance when I am unhappy, and I see you all are the same. Excuse me." -- Randa Kamel buys herself a sneaky cigarette break with a veiled insult.

"Pretend you've got a man under each hand and you're pushing them down...yeeessss." -- Jo Wise tries some creative visualisation.

"If you are bendy, you will be able to do more as a dancer. And probably do more in bed, so there's that." -- Layla advocates cross-training.

"You really don't have to work this hard. You don't. You can just get some Isis wings instead." -- Suhaila Salimpour has no love for pleated lame.

"Don't forget to breathe, because you don't pay me enough for CPR." -- Traysi sets her boundaries.

"I always perform solo. I have far too much ego to share a stage!" -- Galit Mersand laughingly explains why her students always have to take the floor without her.

"My god, child, I've seen a bendy bus turn with more grace than that." -- Sara breaks it to me gently.

"You should always bring something of yourself to your performances, unless you're an unlovable bitch -- in which case, take acting classes." -- Christine believes in 'being yourself', but only to a point.

"If you're young and gorgeous, you can't do this move. It's for the mature woman only." -- Jo Wise demonstrates the R45 hip circle.


  1. Butthole contraction - whoa.

  2. Shafeek has quite the way with words - been on the receiving end of his comments before, but they do make me laugh!

  3. These are all great, but I especially loved Suhaila's! #notawingsfan

  4. Leila Haddad recently admonished in a workshop that, "You can't be both student and teacher!" - referring to the students who were frowning at their own efforts and saying "Oh, shit!" under their breaths as they made mistakes.